Muslims need a Gujjar movement, not conferences and seminars

By Syed Zubair Ahmad,

It seems conventions, conferences, symposium, seminar, debate and discussions have become a trademark of Muslim organizations. By passing long and high-voltage resolutions the leaders of these organizations think they have done their job well. This is happening since after the Independence. These resolutions have no impact on governments at all. The Milli leaders also know it well that no one will take their resolutions seriously and they are bound to fall on deaf ears.

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Resolutions won’t solve problem
Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind organized its 31st General Session on 19th May 2012 at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. It is said around 50 thousand people attended the conference. Speaking on terrorism and illegal detention of Muslim youths, Jamiat’s national president Maulana Qari Syed Mohammad Usman Mansoorpuri condemned terrorism of all forms and demanded the government to stop harassing Muslim youths in the name of investigation. Jamiat leader also demanded:1) Transparency in investigation be maintained rising above religion and caste; 2) A fast-track court be set up immediately, which should look at all cases of falsely accused at one designated place in a time-bound manner at daily basis; and 3)All Muslim youths found innocent must be adequately compensated, Character certificate, government job should be provided and the money be collected from the salary of official responsible for destruction of their life. Besides, Jamiat also demanded Muslim reservation, amendment in Article 341 of the Constitution, communal violence bill, end to injustice to Kashmiri people, citizenship rights in Assam etc.

Jamiat Ulema president Maulana Qari Syed Mohammad Usman Mansoorpuri and other leaders at the 31st General Session held on 19th May 2012 at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi

No doubt the resolutions passed by the 31st General Session of Jamiat are the voice and the concern of the community but what impact it will make is also a known fact. Forget about conferences, symposiums and seminars, the last two months witnessed many protest marches and rallies against the illegal detentions of Muslim youths. To utter surprise when these marches and rallies were being held, Maharashtra police was scripting encounter of Muslim youths in Aurangabad and Karnataka police was planning to arrests more Muslim youths from Bihar.

Interestingly, while addressing the Jamiat conference the chief minister of Delhi called upon the massive gathering of Muslims to come forward to push for their demands and to take their rights.

Will Muslim leaders come out of their comforts?
But the Muslim community doesn’t know when these Ulama will come forward and fight for their rights. It has been observed that generally these Ulema and their organizations come forward to impress political parties when the Parliament is in session just to make sure a Rajya Sabha seat for their leader or settle their score by organizing a conference against the conference organized by the rival group. These Ulama who proclaim themselves to be inheritors of Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan and Qasim Nanotwi, practically they have shunned the way of struggling hard like their forefathers and have made themselves confined in conference grounds and seminar rooms. They rarely come out to protest on roads against the injustice. Can’t they learn a lesson from Jaats and Gujjars? Leaders of these castes braved scorching sun and heavy rain and police actions, they laid themselves on the railway tracks and ultimately they got success. How many of our Milli leaders are ready to come out of their comforts, AC rooms and AC cars?

Milli Council’s National Convention on Muslim Youth Protection held on 31st March 2012 at Mavalankar Hall, New Delhi

In the past when the whole Urdu media was crying over the series of bomb blasts and speaking loudly and clearly that these could not be the acts of Muslim community and some others are involved in these acts of terror, the same Jamiat was organizing a series of conferences to teach the Muslim youths the lessons of tolerance and declaring that Islam is nothing to do with terror. For them brainwashed Muslims were behind those acts of terror. But when saffron brigades were found involved behind those terrorist attacks the same Jamiat Ulama is now organizing conferences to demand the government to stop illegal arrest of Muslim youths.

No doubt these organizations were assets in the past and had played a significant role for the community but now these assets seem to have become liabilities.

No doubt Jamiat’s (Arshad Madni Group) role in fighting some cases in which Muslim youths are implicated and illegally detained is a laudable act and is an example for other Milli organizations to follow.

Why no joint strategy even on consensus issues?
Other major issue is the lack of unity among Muslim organizations even though they have same views on specific issues. For example, Muslim reservation, communal violence bill or terror arrest of innocents – these are the three major issues today and fortunately all Muslim organizations have same view on them, but unfortunately they are not chalking out joint and united strategy for these issues.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president Maulana Jalaluddin Umri announcing a nationwide campaign against terror arrest of innocent Muslim youths at a press conference on 5th May 2012 at its headquarters in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi

Last month Milli Council organized a convention on the topic of “Muslim Youth Protection” in Delhi. Recently Jamaat-e-Islami Hind declared to launch a campaign against the illegal arrests of Muslim youths. And now two days ago, Jamiat Ulema raised the same issue at its Ramlila Maidan conference. But the fact is that no government will heed to their demand and take these organizations seriously unless they get united on common issues and come out from seminar and symposium rooms and take their demands to the street.

Act before it gets too late
They will have to act before it gets too late. In fact conspirators are out to create a war-like situation in our country. They want to create frustration among Muslim youths. They want to provoke Muslims. They want to instigate Muslim youths. The time has come for the Muslim leaders to come forward and control the situation from getting worse.

(Syed Zubair Ahmad is a Writer & Journalist. He can be reached at [email protected])